tattoo cover ups toronto

The top 5 cover-up tattoo artists in Toronto

The top cover-up tattoo artists in Toronto are also some of the best tattooers in the city. After all, you can't run before you learn to walk. And a tattoo artist can't do flawless cover-ups before they first master the fundamentals of tattooing on clean skin. And although there are dozens of artists doing amazing cover-up work all over Toronto, a few in particular stand out.

Here are my picks for the top cover-up tattoo artists in Toronto.

Fabrizio Divari, The Art of Fabrizio Divari
Despite a slew of industry accolades, this talented Italian-born tattooer manages to keep a low profile - quietly churning out his ink masterpieces from a private studio in Parkdale. Though his approach is complex, Divari says the end goal is simple: "A cover-up is a success when after it's finished you could never tell what or where it was before."

George Michael Brown III, Seven Crowns Tattoo
Whether he's camouflaging the stubborn line work of a tribal tattoo or creating a new one, Brown's work is consistently stellar. And unlike many tattooers who shy away from cover-ups, Brown and partner Matthew Ellis are building a reputation for embracing them. Brown says at least 50 per cent of his work involves some degree of cover-up.

Derek Lewis, Lewis Family Tattoo Company
Derek Lewis understands how it feels to have a tattoo that needs covering, because "I've got bad tattoos all over me," he says. Though he can't cover his own ink, he's doing a phenomenal job at his Roncesvalles Village studio. There, he creates gorgeous custom pieces that are bold and vibrant, with a sense of movement that belies their medium.

Raidel Bas, Adrenaline Toronto
Because tattooing is illegal in his native Cuba, Bas learned his craft the hard way - by studying magazines and practicing on friends. Along the way he developed a versatility that runs the gamut from realism to Japanese Irezumi to painterly styles. Bas says this is key when doing a cover-up: "The more flexible you are, the better the cover-up will work."

Ben Ackerman, Tattoos by Ben
After honing his craft at Yonge Street Tattoos, Ackerman now works out of a private studio. His work is bold and delicate, with a beautifully illustrative style. When it comes to cover-ups, Ackerman says the trick is choosing the right new design to camouflage the old one. "Images with a lot of broken lines and layered colours help a lot," he says.

On top of the artists listed above, honourable mention also goes to Csaba (Joe) Sipos, who is producing some of the most unbelievable cover-up tattoos you'll ever see out of Chronic Ink's Markham location. Who else would you recommend? Add your suggestions for Toronto cover-up tattoo artists in the comments.

Writing by Stacey Sleightholm. Top image courtesy Ben Ackerman.


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Arts

Derelict Toronto mall now has a neon sign marking its demise

This is what Hudson's Bay holiday windows look like in Toronto this year

You can now attend a taping of Family Feud Canada in Toronto for free

Someone in Toronto carved all 100 Generation 2 Pokemon into pumpkins

Hannah Gadsby is coming to Toronto

Casting calls in Toronto are searching for The Office and Friends character lookalikes

Toronto getting new street murals to fix botched laneway art project

Hamilton tickets are insanely hard to get in Toronto right now